Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Ip, R, Michael, K, & Michael, MG, Amal Graafstra The Do-It-Yourselfer RFID Implantee: The culture, values and ethics of hobbyist implantees: a case study, Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication (CATAC08), Nimes, France, 24-27 June, 2008, pp. 1-15.


This paper provides insights into the culture, values and ethics of do-it-yourself microchip implantees. Microchip implantees are people who have opted to bear a radio-frequency identification (RFID) device beneath their skin for particular electronic applications. This paper uses a single case study of the most prominent hobbyist microchip implantee, Mr Amal Graafstra of the United States, to explore the preliminary motivations for being implanted, the actual chip experience, and the subsequent repercussions of being an implantee. The data for this paper was collected using two main techniques, a primary interview with the case subject, complemented by secondary documentary evidence available mainly in online form. The outcomes of the paper indicate that hobbyist implantees are for the greater part, particularly ethically aware of the information and communication technology (ICT) implications as well as being technically competent individuals. Surprisingly the research found that do-it-yourself implantees are usually critical of commercial subscription implant applications and value highly the ideas of consent, choice, and the ability for consumers to opt-in or out of given applications.

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